Branchburg, New Jersey has a rich history that spans several centuries. This small town, located in Somerset County, has been the site of numerous historical events that have shaped the course of American history. Here are seven of the most significant historical events that have taken place near Branchburg, NJ.
1. The Battle of Bound Brook (1777)
During the American Revolution, the Battle of Bound Brook took place near Branchburg on April 13, 1777. British forces, led by General William Howe, attacked a small American garrison at the Bound Brook outpost. Although the British were successful in taking the outpost, the Americans were able to withdraw and regroup, preventing a British advance into central New Jersey.
2. The Somerville Train Wreck (1905)
On January 15, 1905, a passenger train carrying more than 300 people derailed in Somerville, about six miles from Branchburg. The train was traveling too fast around a curve and the engine and four cars overturned. Nearly 100 people were injured and eight were killed. The accident was one of the deadliest train wrecks in New Jersey history.
3. The Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church (1717)
Located just a few miles from Branchburg, the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest churches in New Jersey. It was founded in 1717 and played a significant role in the religious and political history of the area during the colonial period.
4. The Kean Estate (1762)
Formerly known as Liberty Hall, the Kean Estate was built in 1762 by William Livingston, the first governor of New Jersey. The estate later passed to the Kean family, who were prominent politicians and statesmen during the 19th century. Today, the estate is a museum and is open to the public for tours.
5. The Jersey Central Railroad Strike (1922)
In 1922, railroad workers on the Jersey Central Railroad went on strike to protest low wages and poor working conditions. The strike lasted for more than a month and resulted in violence and riots in towns along the railroad, including Somerville and Bound Brook. The strike ended when federal troops were sent in to restore order.
6. The Great Flood of 1955
In August of 1955, heavy rains caused widespread flooding throughout New Jersey, including in Branchburg. The Raritan River overflowed its banks, causing extensive damage to homes and businesses in the area. The flood was one of the worst natural disasters in New Jersey history.
7. The Hillsborough Tragedy (2008)
On August 20, 2008, a small plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in nearby Hillsborough, killing all six people on board and one person on the ground. The crash caused extensive damage to homes in the area and prompted nationwide attention to aviation safety.
Branchburg, New Jersey may be a small town, but its history is rich and varied. From the Revolutionary War to modern day tragedies, the events that have taken place near Branchburg have shaped the course of American history and continue to resonate to this day.
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